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Mar 24, 2010 10:01 AM

Berkeley; What's new at Local 123?

The cappucino was excellent as always with pretty art squiggles in the foam. I got the espresso roast of the day. It seems they now have a decafe cap roast of the day.

I haven't been in a while and it seems like they have lots of new items ... beer and wine? The baked goods seem to have expanded. Any more info about what they are serving now?

Every table was filled both inside and out, except for two tables in the no-compter zone. Nice to see they have caught on so well.

It was the final stop in a progressive lunch that started with chicken kabobs at Middle East Market across the street, moved on to Jamaican patties and Swedish-style pancakes at Flavah Island two doors down and ended at Local 123 with a cup of cap. So I wasn't too interesed in food on that visit.

Local 123
2049 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

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  1. They hired someone to do all the baked goods. so there's a pretty decent selection of cookies, muffins, etc. now. The muffin du jour changes daily and is one of the less expensive items at $1.50 (tax inclusive). I like the coconut chocolate chip muffin when they have it. The cookies smell GREAT, especially right out of the oven, but I haven't tried them yet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: abstractpoet

      The drip coffees now are various prices and are as much as $2.75 a cup now.

      1. re: lmnopm

        Yup. But tax inclusive. And you can still get their espresso drinks with the single origin bean for the same price as with the blend - I think they experimented with charging $0.50 more for like a week and then gave it up.

    2. It appears LOCAL 123 has scaled back their business hours? I found them closed at 6pm.
      Is this a season thing (winter?) or a holiday short staffing? Hope it doesnt bode ill.

      9 Replies
      1. re: psb

        From their FB page.

        open daily 7am-6pm
        HAPPY HOUR weekdays 4-6
        $3 beer | $5 wine

        Local 123 NEW HOURS: open every day 7am-6pm.
        we heart you, neighbors and coffee lovers!
        December 11 at 11:56am · Like · Comment

        Local 123
        2049 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

        1. re: psb

          Seems like the evenings are being reserved for various special events.

          I've never gone at night, so I don't know how much business they'd get then, but certainly during the day it's packed most of the time.

          1. re: abstractpoet

            I think this place has finally priced itself out of my market for drip coffee. Mid $3s and up seem to be the average now. I appreciate how much it costs to run a business and make a living, but the place opened a year and a half ago and the price of their drip coffee has gone up by 60 to 75% on average.

            1. re: lmnopm

              I'm more of a cappuccino drinker, and those prices have kept steady, but will concede your overall point. I believe they always have a $2.75 (tax inclusive) drip option, but in general the prices have indeed crept up a bit. I think it would be nice if no more than half of the four or so drip options on a given day would be above the $3 mark.

              If you care to give the owners this bit of feedback, I imagine they'd be open to it. I think the prices are largely dictated by which particular coffees they choose to feature in a given month, rather than it just being an arbitrary price hike. I think it's ever since they moved away from using Flying Goat exclusively and started featuring more coffees from the Coava (Portland) and Sightglass (SF) roasters that the prices went up noticeably.

              1. re: lmnopm

                The price hike might be the global coffee shortage. Smaller places can't absorb that the same way a chain can.

                1. re: ML8000

                  I understand all of this. My point is that it is for the most part currently out of the price range that I'm going to pay for a cup of drip coffee.

                  1. re: lmnopm

                    It seem expensive for drip coffee especially if one feels the quality is not there. I always get espresso drinks and I think 123 is far above anyone else - they also make the best soy latte. If the quality is there I don't mind paying for it.

                    1. re: evacarleton

                      And on evacarlton's note, IIRC they do not charge extra for substituting soy for milk, which I appreciate, as I'm not a milk drinker.

                2. re: lmnopm

                  I finally got over to BB Mint Plaza, and they have a special where coffee is only $5 with breakfast. So supply and demand might be involved. The Siphon apparatus is extraordinary, though. Feh on those who suggest the Gibraltar there - just get something from the siphon.